I know, I know. I have written three posts about Jodi Picoult books. My sis and I are obsessed with her right now. Here is another recommended book from her.
17 year old Peter Houghton has been suffering from bullying in his high school for years. One fateful day, he went to his school and started shooting everyone in sight especially the popular kids, very reminiscent of the Columbine High School Massacre. He was tried for murder. Involved in this heartbreaking story is his old friend turned popular kid, Josie Cormier who became a star witness to the trial much to the apprehension of her mother, Alex Cormier who is a respected judge. You will find a familiar character in this story that is in one of Jodi Picoult’s Perfect Match. Police officer, Patrick Duchrame transferred to Sterling and is the one who captured Peter Houghton after the shooting spree.
I think Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult is one of her best novels alongside Storyteller. It depicted a heart-crunching story of bullying, loyalty, friendship and motherhood. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears when reading this. I feel for Peter. Most parents might not be aware but high school or elementary for that matter is a battlefield. You need to pass a certain criteria to be accepted by your peers. Acceptance and belonging are core needs of an individual at this age. If you are not pretty, rich or intelligent by your classmates standards and displaying a certain weirdness that put people off, the “mean” girls and boys of your school will bully you to their hearts’ content. Unfortunately, people who are being bullied cannot run to their teachers or parents and exposing their bullies. If their teacher will defend them, once the teacher’s back is turned, they will be getting more abuse. If they tell their parents, their parents’ will tell them to toughen up and stand their ground against their bullies. But apparently due to generation gap, parents has no idea of the psychology of cliques in high school and how it works. So the bullied child will suffer in helpless silence. The bullying will send a scar on his/her soul. So when he/she grows up to be a rich CEO, a pretty model or a intelligent IT consultant, his/her esteem will leave fragments of insecurity that cannot be erased. I stand strong against bullying. It is the worst thing that can happen to any child. It is horrible to wake up in the morning and wishing you are sick so you can’t face your aggressors. It is horrible to force yourself to be like everyone else so you wont get picked on and you hide your uniqueness. They say, “Stick and stones might hurt your bones but words will never harm me“. Apparently that so untrue. Yes they do. Yes, they do,
POINTS FOR DISCUSSION:
1. If you were being bullied in your school, what is the best revenge you can think of towards your bullies?
2. What is the best way or solution to stop bullying in elementary & high schools?
3. Do you believe that if a person was bullied in school, most likely he/she would seek out relationship that allows them to be bullied also, following a familiar pattern in their life?
4. Do you think spoiling a child or wrong parenting can cause triats of a child that would court bullying from his /her peers?